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On the Tonkotsu Ramen Trail: From Its Birthplace in Fukuoka to the Boom in Bellevue and Seattle

After a tonkotsu ramen immersion in Fukuoka (and Tokyo), I return to Seattle to try three new restaurants serving the same style of ramen here. One is great, one is good...and one is a flop.
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10 Sensational Stops for Japanese Food in Shinjuku, Tokyo

If you're visiting Tokyo for business or pleasure, there's a good chance you'll be staying in the Shinjuku area. Arrive at night, and you'll feel like an alien amidst all the neon in the Blade Runner-like atmosphere. How do you navigate the streets to find good restaurants with great food? Here are some suggestions.
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Bowled Over by Donburi and Chirashi in Tokyo

Seafood on rice. Given the quality of these two ingredients in Japan, I’m always eager to indulge in any dish of this nature. During my recent trip to Tokyo, I enjoyed three distinct versions of seafood on rice, including one version that included three different ways of eating it.
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Eight Great Bowls of Ramen to Slurp in Tokyo

I once read that there are over 20,000 ramen restaurants in Tokyo. That's a lot of noodle slurping for one city. So, where to go?
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Snapshots from Tokyo: Eight Japanese Sweets Worth Savoring

Sushi, ramen, and shabu shabu are among the many iconic foods you’ll find in Japan. But in any quest for quality Japanese food, don’t forget dessert—or sweet snacks any time of day. Japan has its fair share of traditional confections, and its bakers and other…
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Snapshots from Japan: Sardine Lunch at Nakajima in Tokyo

Tokyo tops the world in terms of Michelin-starred restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to enjoy the food at one of these acclaimed establishments. Not far from Shinjuku Station, in the basement floor of one of the city’s many nondescript…
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This Ain’t No Benihana: Teppanyaki at Yamanami in Tokyo

No knives thrown. Just delicious food eaten.
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Snapshots from Japan: Grilled Brains, Genitals, and Other Offal in Tokyo

What I especially like about Japanese restaurants (and what I believe to be a key to outstanding quality) is specialization. A great sushi bar serves only seafood. Even more specialized, an unagi restaurant sells only grilled eel, a tonkatsu restaurant only deep-fried breaded pork cutlets,…
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Snapshots from Japan: A Fish-Forward Breakfast at Kuoues in Tokyo

Visit Japan, and you can conveniently start your day with fried dough from Mister Donut (pronounced “Mis-tah Do-nut-su”) or onigiri (filled rice “balls”) from 7-11 or another konbini (convenience store). But I prefer to get going with a fuller breakfast, like the one you can…
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Coffee in Japan: Seeking Perfection at Cafe Use in Tokyo

At Cafe Use, a short walk from Shimokitazawa Station in Tokyo, signs in the window ward off cell phone users, smokers, young children, and people seeking espresso or cappuccino. There’s no wifi for computer users. And while there are a few varieties of tea and…
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